Our smile is often one of the first things people notice about us and can make a lasting first impression. However, for some people, being self-conscious about an excessive amount of gum tissue showing when smiling, also known as a “gummy smile,” can negatively impact their confidence.
While a gummy smile is often genetic in nature, there are minimally invasive cosmetic procedures that can help reduce its appearance. One such option is the strategic use of Botox injections to selectively weaken the muscles around the top lip responsible for raising it too high while smiling.
In this guide, we will provide an overview of the Orlando Botox procedure for a gummy smile, including the expected immediate and long-term results and who may be a good candidate.
How Can Botox Be Used To Treat A Gummy Smile?
A gummy smile is when a person shows an excessive amount of gum tissue, usually more than 3mm, when smiling or laughing. This occurs because the upper lip does not cover enough of the gums. It is commonly caused by hyperactive muscles around the top lip and nose that pull the lip up too high.
Botox injections can help reduce the appearance of a gummy smile by temporarily paralyzing the muscles responsible for excessively raising the top lip while smiling or laughing. Specifically, Botox is injected into the levator labii superioris and levator anguli oris muscles around the top lip and nose. By weakening these muscles for a few months, they are less able to pull the lip up high, covering more of the gums and creating a more balanced smile. This allows patients to smile fully without worrying about showing too much gum tissue.
The Botox treatment is performed in our medspa and takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete, depending on the individual case. Using a very thin needle, a precise amount of Botox is injected into the specific muscles around the top lip and nose that are responsible for pulling the lip up too high while smiling. This includes the levator labii superioris and levator anguli oris muscles mentioned earlier.
Little to no downtime is required after the procedure as injections are minimally painful, and side effects are typically mild, if present at all. Patients can resume regular activities and work immediately. No anesthesia is needed other than local numbing cream applied before if desired.
Results from a Botox treatment for a gummy smile are usually noticeable within 5-10 days after the procedure. As the Botox begins to take effect, weakening the muscles responsible for excess gingival display, patients may start to see a subtle yet improved appearance to their smile.
However, keep in mind that the full effects may take up to two full weeks to develop as the Botox fully paralyzes the muscles over time. Any minor swelling or bruising from the injections typically subsides within a few days.
Longevity of Results
Mostly, the effects of Botox for reducing a gummy smile through muscle weakening typically last 2.5-3 months on average before touch-up injections may be needed. Often, by the 3-4 month mark, the muscles have regained enough strength that the gummy smile appearance is beginning to return. Therefore, to maintain results, follow-up Botox treatments are usually required. Of course, the length of effect may vary slightly per individual based on metabolism and other factors.
Who Is A Good Candidate?
The best candidates for Botox treatment of a gummy smile tend to be adults with mild to moderate cases caused by hyperactive upper lip muscles. Specifically:
- Those who show 3-5mm of gum tissue when smiling. More severe cases may require additional procedures.
- Generally healthy individuals without botulinum toxin allergies or neuromuscular junction disorders.
- Nonsmokers, as smoking can affect treatment effectiveness.
Keep in mind that unrealistic expectations about complete gum coverage should be avoided, as the goal is subtle enhancement, not transformation. Patients should also understand the temporary nature of the results, which typically last 3-4 months, and be willing to undergo periodic touch-up treatments to maintain benefits.
Enhance Your Smile and Confidence With Aesthetic Lane
For those whose confidence has been impacted by a gummy smile, Botox injections are the perfect minimally invasive and non-surgical solution for temporarily reducing the appearance of their gummy smile caused by hyperactive upper lip muscles.
For the right candidates, it allows them to experience improved smile confidence with subtle yet effective results and little downtime. Call Aesthetic Lane today for a private consultation to discuss the strategic use of Botox treatments for your gummy smile, and you will be closer to attaining the ideal smile that you envision.
Brittany Lane White, a board-certified family nurse practitioner from Lakeland, Florida, holds a nursing degree from Florida State University. With six years of experience in medical and trauma/surgical ICU in Tampa, she pursued a master’s degree in nursing at the University of Tampa. Her passion for aesthetic medicine grew during her master’s training. In Los Angeles, she completed clinical and injection specialist training at a top 25 Allergan account. Brittany focuses on a natural approach to facial aesthetics, emphasizing confidence and refreshment, not an artificial appearance. Beyond work, she enjoys spinning, travel, reading, and beach weekends with her husband, Brian, and two children, Georgina (Georgie) and Westley.